What electives can I take?

The junior electives are those required in the first year. There are six or nine credits of junior electives required (depending on whether or not you completed Physics at Grade 12 in high school). These junior electives can be any course that you want to choose from. In general, students select their electives for a variety of reasons such as:

  • the course is of general interest
  • the course will help the student in future studies
  • the course is the only one that fits into a student’s timetable
  • the student thinks course will raise their GPA (grade point average) – sorry we cannot point you in a particular direction!
  • ECON 102 is one good junior elective to take since it is a required course in the Minor in Commerce option

ECON 102 (Principles of Macroeconomics) is a good junior elective to take since it is a required course in the Minor in Commerce option.  FRST 100 (Sustainable Forests) is another good junior elective since it is a required course for other programs in the Faculty of Forestry and provides a good introduction to important concepts in forestry.

The senior electives (sometimes referred to as “restricted electives”) must be courses taken at the 300- or 400-level and are usually taken in the third, fourth, or fifth year. There are nine credits of senior electives required (typically three 3-credit courses). These courses must be chosen in consultation with your Program Director.  Students in the Minor in Commerce program select their senior electives from among a published list of courses. Students not in the Minor in Commerce program should discuss their options with the Program Director. Please also refer to the FAQ entitled ‘What are my senior elective options’.

What are my senior elective options?

Answer: The senior electives are usually taken in the third, fourth, or fifth year and must be courses taken at the 300- or 400-level. There are nine credits of senior electives required in the program (typically three 3-credit courses). These courses can be almost any UBC 300- or 400-level course. Some students choose senior electives in topics quite different from the WOOD courses in the Wood Products program to broaden their education; others choose subjects in related topics to complement the WOOD courses, while others simply take courses that they find interesting. There are no restrictions on what subjects you select. However, please check the prerequisites for courses that you are considering as your senior electives. Some instructors may be willing to waive the prerequisites but you should not assume that will happen.

Students in the Minor in Commerce option select their senior electives from a published list of COMR courses. There are some general seats in most of those COMR courses (in which students not in the Minor in Commerce may register for) but those seats usually fill up very quickly once registration opens.

There are no other formal minors or streams in the Wood Products program but there are two groupings of courses shown below that may interest some students.

Wood Buildings

CIVL 439 (Design of Timber Structures)

This course is a senior elective in the Civil Engineering program.  It is a fairly rigorous course but Wood Products students have successfully completed the course.  You should contact your Program Director if you wish to take CIVL 439 since you will not be able to register yourself into the course.

CIVL 478 (Building Science)

This course is another senior elective in the Civil Engineering program.  It often fills up quickly so you should contact your Program Director well in advance of your registration date.

ARCH 511 (Architectural Technology I)

If you are interested in taking this course, you will need to contact the Program Director to assist you in your registration. Please note that since Architecture is a graduate program at UBC, undergraduates are required to have a GPA that would make them eligible for graduate school at UBC if they wish to take ARCH 511.

Data Analysis

FRST 430 (Advanced Biometrics)

The Prerequisite is FRST 231.

STAT 300 (Intermediate Statistics for Applications)

FRST 231 meets the prerequisite.

COMM 205 (Introduction to Management Information Systems)

This course has no prerequisites but this course is normally restricted only to students in the BCOM program. However, if there are any seats still open at the end of their registration it may be possible to gain a seat.

Other Courses in the Faculty of Forestry

Any 300- or 400-level CONS, FOPR, FRST, or UFOR course can be taken as a senior elective course.  The only exceptions are FRST 303 and FRST 304, which are courses designed for non-Forestry students.

Language Courses

Any language course at the 300- or 400-level is acceptable. Language courses at the 100- or 200-level may be taken as senior electives but six credits of courses at this level would only count towards three credits of your senior elective requirement.

Other UBC Courses

ECON 311 (Principles of Macroeconomics). While this course is equivalent to ECON 102 since it is a 300-level course it is fine for one of your senior electives.

Wood Products Design and Development Courses

WOOD 488 (3) Wood Products Design and Development I

Introduction to wood product design, from the product idea to the production-ready design. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. Prerequisite: All of WOOD 305, WOOD 482, WOOD 485.  This course runs in term 1.

WOOD 489 (3) Wood Products Design and Development II

Design and fabrication of wood products. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.  Prerequisite: WOOD 488 and a portfolio demonstrating competence in the operation of woodworking machinery.

The original intent was for WOOD 488 to be more of a regular lecture-style course and as such more students could be accommodated in the course than in WOOD 489.  WOOD 489 was to run more as a lab-based course with students working in groups fabricating wood products (similar to how some directed study courses have operated recently).  However, in the short term, it is planned that only WOOD 488 will be run and it will include content originally planned for both courses.  This revised offering of WOOD 488 will include a blend of theory and practical components of wood products design and development.

Directed Studies

A directed study is usually an individual project carried out by a student under the supervision of a faculty member. The directed study gives you the option of exploring a particular topic of interest when no regular course is available. Most recent directed studies have been performed by fourth- or fifth-year students as one of their senior electives. Faculty members are not obliged to supervise directed studies. You should, therefore, contact a faculty member with the appropriate knowledge of the topic concerned in order to discuss undertaking a directed study. You and your supervising faculty member are required to prepare and sign-off a written plan for what the directed study will involve, including the project deliverables; the workload should be equivalent to a regular 3-credit course. The signed plan should then be submitted to the Program Director. The course number used for a directed study is usually WOOD 449C. You cannot register yourself into this course; your Program Director must do this for you. WOOD 449C is a 3-credit course and the normal tuition fees apply.

Courses Offered by Thompson Rivers University Open Learning Division

Courses offered by TRU-OL can be viewed on their website. Information on which of the courses offered by TRU-OL transfer for credit to UBC can be found on the BC Transfer Guide website. The transfer credits must be at the UBC 300- or 400-level for the TRU-OL course to qualify as a senior elective. Students sometimes take advantage of TRU-OL courses while they are on one of their co-op work terms. TRU-OL courses that transfer to UBC as COMR credits are the most common TRU-OL courses selected.  Please be aware – students need to receive permission from their Program Director before they register for any outside courses.

Emily Carr University of Arts and Design

UBC Wood Products has a long-standing relationship with a faculty member at Emily Carr (Dr Christian Blyt) who regularly teaches a relevant course in each term. In the Sep-Dec term, he teaches a course covering Furniture Design and in the Jan-Apr term, he teaches a course covering Wood Product Development and Marketing.

The professor is happy to accept a limited number of Wood Products students in his courses each year. Students taking one of these courses would register as an Emily Carr student and then transfer the relevant credits to UBC. The courses each run as six-credit courses and the classes meet on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. However, it is possible for Wood Products students to take only part of each of the Emily Carr courses for three credits. Please note that the Emily Carr classes are held at the Great Northern Way Campus (located at 520 E 1st Ave, Vancouver) and students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Emily Carr. For more information please contact your Program Director, Wood Products.

What courses are required in year 1/2/3/4/5?

Please refer to the UBC Calendar for a list of required courses, as well as the course sequence for students in the co-op option. You can identify which courses to take by comparing the courses you have completed and the courses required. However, the order will be different from the “official” sequence if you have not taken courses in the order specified by the UBC Calendar.

To help you plan your courses and track your progress, you can view your academic record online at the Student Services Centre.

I didn’t do well in my first term, what are the regulations covering my standing at UBC?

In order to be eligible to register in the next academic session, all first-year students must achieve at least 60% (including failed grades), AND pass a minimum of 60% of the credits taken during the Winter Session AND complete an approved schedule of required courses.

For full details, please refer to the Faculty of Forestry academic regulations in the UBC Calendar. The “Examinations and Advancement” section (paragraphs 6 and 7) is the most relevant for first-year students. Please contact your Program Director if you have any questions concerning these regulations.

How do I retake a failed course?

If you have failed a UBC first-year science course and need to retake it because it is a required course, you normally do not have to retake the laboratory section if you passed that section in your first attempt at the course. If you are in this situation, the course coordinator will usually register you into a “laboratory exempt” section for the laboratory requirement.

It is standard UBC policy that students are only allowed two attempts to take a course. If you fail a course twice you should not anticipate being permitted to take it for a third time at UBC. In these circumstances, you should investigate taking an equivalent course at a local community college or through distance education (see Transfer Credits and Distance Education).

If you have failed a WOOD or FRST course, you should consult the instructor for the year in which you are planning to retake the course to determine the course components that you will be required to attempt again.

What about the Minor in Commerce?

You are strongly advised to review our Minor in Commerce webpages for an overview of the program, as well as details on admission, course requirements and course descriptions. Additional information is available in the UBC Calendar.

What are WOOD 305 and WOOD 353?

WOOD 305 (Wood Machining Skills)
This is an 8 or 9-day course held in the wood machinery lab at CAWP. It is a required course for all Wood Products students. There are usually two or three sections held each year. The first section usually starts at the end of April and the other sections run in May. We try to accommodate student requests for their preferences for which section of WOOD 305 they wish to take but that may not be possible in all cases. More information about WOOD 305 is distributed each year during the second term. WOOD 305 runs during the summer session and registration usually opens in early March. There will be a waitlist section for WOOD 305 where all students planning to take the course can directly register themselves. We will then manage the placements of students into one of the sections based on requests that we receive from students.

WOOD 353 (Mill Site Visits)
This is a one-week field trip around part of the Interior of British Columbia visiting manufacturing facilities. It is a required course for all Wood Products students. WOOD 353 usually starts after the first section of WOOD 353 has ended, at the beginning of May. The Department of Wood Science will make all of the travel and accommodation arrangements. There is an additional fee to cover these expenses. More information about WOOD 353 is usually sent out in January or February as the details are confirmed with the companies that will be visited on the tour.

Can I take summer classes at UBC?

With the exception of WOOD 305, there are no WOOD undergraduate courses offered during the summer term at UBC. Some other UBC faculties do offer summer courses. To browse summer courses, please use UBC’s online course schedule.